Russia moves nuclear weapons to Crimea

by
19 June 2015

by Gavin Drake in Strasbourg

AP

Long-term warning: Ioan Mircea Paşcu studies a document at the start of a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, in January 

Long-term warning: Ioan Mircea Paşcu studies a document at the start of a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, in January&nb...

RUSSIA has moved short- and medium-range nuclear weapons to the Crimean peninsula, as part of efforts to increase its military presence in the Black Sea and create a "southern Kaliningrad", members of the European Parliament said last week.

The claims were made in a debate on a report prepared by a Vice-President of the European Parliament and former Defence Minister of Romania, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, which looked at the "strategic military situation in the Black Sea Basin".

Mr Paşcu warned that Russia had begun a process of "long-term militarisation", and was turning the Crimea into a "launch pad".

Charles Tannock, a Conservative MEP for London, said that "It is vital that the member states of the EU work together, both within our union and NATO, to meet what is a very real and concerning military threat to our security."

But Martina Anderson, a Sinn Féin MEP for Northern Ireland, said that the West's main concern was about oil-exploration rights in the Baltic, and "the lives of the people in the Crimea are a mere secondary consideration."

And Mike Hookem, a UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, said that the "pain, destruction, loss, and suffering caused by the recent fighting in the Ukraine can be directly attributed to the expansionist policies of the European Union."

He called on the UN to intervene diplomatically to prevent a "multi-national war in the region". If Ukraine was allowed "to take control of its own internal affairs", he said, it could "develop into a strong, independent, politically free, and defendable nation that can freely trade . . . with the rest of the world.

"What Ukraine does not need is an EU or Russian puppet-master pulling its strings."

The Council of the EU is set to renew its sanctions against Russia when it meets in Brussels next week, to prevent their expiring next month.

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